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Satellite Photos Show North Korea Expanding Missile Base

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

On Wednesday, CNN reported that satellite evidence shows North Korea is upgrading a major missile base — and constructing what appears to be a new site:

The satellite imagery offers evidence that the Yeongjeo-dong missile base and a nearby, previously unreported site remain active and have been continuously upgraded, underscoring the reality of just how far apart Washington and Pyongyang are on the issue of denuclearization despite five months of sporadic talks.

While the base at Yeongjeo-dong has long been known to US intelligence agencies and analysts, researchers at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey told CNN that the images reveal construction on a new facility just seven miles away from the older site that had not been previously publicly identified.

The revelation is yet another blow to President Donald Trump, who after first trying to face down North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and belittle him as a “Little Rocket Man” who would be met with “fire and fury,” then sought to prove his dealmaking prowess by getting Kim to agree to denuclearization. After a series of dubious talks, Trump claimed that he and Kim “fell in love” and that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would come “very, very quickly.”

It hasn’t. And experts were warning Trump all along that it wouldn’t, because Kim sees nuclear weapons as an essential tactic for his own survival.

Unlike the Iran nuclear deal, in which President Barack Obama and our international allies imposed measurable objectives for nuclear non-proliferation with mechanisms of enforcement in case the Iranians cheated, Trump essentially handed Kim a major public relations victory in exchange for vague, unmeasurable promises to draw down their nuclear program. It is clear they have no intention of doing so — and Trump fell victim to his own ego.

Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.

 

Deception: North Korea Maintains 16 Hidden Missile Bases

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Satellite images reveal that North Korea has 16 hidden ballistic missile bases, including one within 80 miles of U.S. soldiers — evidence that the rogue regime has “engaged in a great deception” of the Trump administration, the New York Times reports.

One of the bases, known as Sakkanmol, is just 80 miles from U.S. troops in Seoul, South Korea. There are over 23,400 American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines stationed in South Korea.

A few months ago, Trump told rallygoers he “fell in love” with Kim after they met.

If that’s true, North Korea is cheating on America.

Trump often baselessly brags that North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are now restrained thanks to his diplomacy. But it’s been clear for a long time that Trump actually failed to secure key concessions when he met face-to-face with dictator Kim Jong Un this summer.

And now that the regime’s deception has been revealed, it’s clearer than ever that North Korea has made a complete fool out of Trump and taken advantage of the United States.

At a press conference just days ago, Trump said of North Korea, “The sanctions are on. The missiles have stopped. The rockets have stopped. The hostages are home.”

But in fact, the sanctions are collapsing and the production of nuclear weapons is continuing, thanks in part to Trump’s weak leadership.

Despite Trump’s bragging, North Korea has in fact held the upper hand in diplomatic negotiations with America since Trump assumed the presidency.

Trump granted the pariah nation a seat on the world stage, and provided considerable fodder for North Korean state propaganda, when he met with Kim in person.

While Trump has repeatedly proclaimed victory in his negotiations, North Korea has continued to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

The country even said it would not send its chief negotiator to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to plan its next summit with America.

North Korea is getting what it wants, and Trump is giving them cover to do so with his nonsense lies.

This is putting American military service members, and our allies like Japan and South Korea, in harm’s way. But Trump cannot be bothered to lead on global security.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

 

 

Trump Says He And Kim Jong Un ‘Fell In Love’

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

Trump’s admiration for murderous dictators is well-known — but he took that to a shocking new level Saturday night when he told a rally crowd that he and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “fell in love” with each other.

At a so-called “Make America Great Again” rally in Wheeling, West Virginia, Trump devoted a portion of his speech to bragging about his diplomacy with North Korea.

Trump claimed that his casual threats of starting a nuclear war, and the dangerously escalating rhetoric between Trump and Kim that led up to their disastrous summit, were just examples of the two men being “tough.”

“And then we fell in love, okay?” Trump told the crowd. “No, really. He wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters. We fell in love.”

It is, of course, shocking and inflammatory for Trump to claim that he and a murderous dictator “fell in love.”

But then Trump immediately revealed that he knows exactly how shocking and inflammatory this was — and that he says this kind of thing on purpose so that he can get bigger crowds at his rallies.

“Now they’ll say, ‘Donald Trump said they fell in love, how horrible — how horrible is that. So unpresidential!’” Trump said, mocking the way he expected his critics to react.

“It’s so easy to be presidential,” Trump added. “But instead of having 10,000 people outside trying to get into this packed arena, we’d have about 200 people standing right there.”

Trump’s declaration of love did indeed draw shocked reactions from many prominent Americans on Twitter.

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice may have summed it up best when she wrote, “This is totally FUBAR!” (FUBAR is military slang for a situation that is “fucked up beyond all repair.”)

Former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul pointed out that mocking others for taking offense at what you say doesn’t make what you say any less offensive.

“Yes, Mr. President, it is horrible that you ‘fell in love’ with one of the most brutal dictators in the world today,” McFaul wrote. “Its worse than horrible. It’s sick. As a proud American, your words about ‘falling in love’ with any world leader, let alone KJU, embarrass me.”

“IF Obama said he and Kim Jong Un fell in love, @seanhannity would call him a traitor,” former Hillary Clinton staffer Jesse Ferguson pointed out. “As Trump says he and Kim Jong Un fell in love, I’m hearing @seanhannity wants to be best man.”

And DNC official Khary Penebaker wondered “how Otto Warmbier’s parents feel about” Trump’s remarks — a reference to the U.S. hostage who died following his captivity in North Korea.

Trump has made a habit of praising authoritarian dictators. But his latest declaration of “love” for Kim Jong Un is shocking even by those standards.

And even if Trump is doing it on purpose just because he knows it’s shocking, that doesn’t make it better. Instead, it’s yet another embarrassment of the United States in the eyes of the world.

Published with permission of The American Independent.